Arkansas’ western mountains, the Ozarks and the Ouachitas, are the only major ranges between the Rocky Mountains and the Appalachian chain. Stretching roughly from the Little Rock area to the border with Oklahoma, the mountains' wild areas provide year-round hiking, rafting and camping opportunities. Motels with mountain views in Arkansas are scattered throughout the area. Small towns and tiny out-of-the-way villages support motels catering to outdoors lovers and travelers in search of solitude.
Eureka Springs, tucked in the mountains of northwest Arkansas, is the site of several classic tourist hotels. The Basin Park and the Crescent hotels have welcomed guests since the 19th century. Motels tend to be located on the winding roads on the outskirts of town. Edelweiss Inn, located on the Eureka Springs trolley line, offers smoke-free rooms. Decks and a hot tub in an outdoor gazebo provide wooded views. Eureka Matterhorn Towers is an economical 33-room Bavarian-style motel located on a creek.
Ozark National Forest
Covering more than a million acres in northwest Arkansas, the Ozark National Forest protects more than 500 species of trees. The forest offers horseback riding, wild and scenic rivers, swimming and fishing. Sky-Vue Lodge, “on the back porch of the Ozarks” in the Boston Mountains, rents both bed-and-breakfast rooms and private cabins. Ozark Folkways, a shop selling locally made crafts and baskets, is across the street. Colonial Inn Heber Springs is located near Greers Ferry Lake and the Little Red River, both meccas for trophy fishermen. The motel has both standard rooms and suites.
Ouachita National Forest
Ouachita National Forest covers almost two million acres in western Arkansas and southeastern Oklahoma. The forest includes Mount Magazine, the tallest peak in the Ouachita Mountains. Crystal Inn Motel and Restaurant, located near Lake Ouachita east of Mount Ida, is a smoke-free motel with a swimming pool and restaurant. The restaurant serves southern classics like fried catfish and chicken fried steak at reasonable prices. The village of Mena, in far western Arkansas, provides easy access to the Buffalo River, a favorite with whitewater rafters. Sun Country Inn is a moderately priced motel offering standard rooms and suites just outside town.
Mountain View bills itself as “Your place in the mountains.” Forest Service rangers lead tours of Blanchard Springs Caverns, and Mirror Lake is a favorite with anglers. The Dogwood Motel is a very reasonable classic motor court-style property with ground-floor rooms and a swimming pool. Pinewood Cabins offers accommodations on and near the Courthouse Square, where Music on the Square is a daily celebration of mountain music during the summer. One- and two-bedroom cabins are fully furnished. Pinewood’s motel offers cabin suites without kitchens.
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